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paper, only to laugh at it. But, at length, he had read the same things again and again so often, that he began to think there must be some truth in them; and that men and measures were really such as they were so often said to be. A drop of water seems to have no influence on the stone; but it will, in the end, wear its way through. If there be, therefore, such a mighty influence in every thing around us, the parental influence must be great indeed. Consistency is the great character, in good parents, which impresses children. They may witness much temper; but if they see their father“ keep the even tenor of his ways," his imperfections will be understood and allowed for as reason opens. The child will see and reflect on his parent's intention; and this will have great influence on his mind. This influence may, indeed, be afterwards counteracted; but that only proves that contrary currents may arise, and carry the child another way. The implantation of principles is of unspeakable importance, especially when culled from time to time out of the Bible. The child feels his parent's authority supported by the Bible, and the authority of the Bible supported by his parent's weight and influence. A man can very seldom get rid of these principles; they stand in his way. He wishes to forget them, perhaps; but it is impossible. Where parental influence does not convert, it hampers ; it hangs on the wheels of evil. I had a pious mother who dropped things in my way. I could never rid myself of them. I was a professed infidel; but then I liked to be an infidel in company rather than when alone. I was wretched when by myself. These principles and maxims spoiled my jollity. With my companions I could sometimes stifle them; like embers we kept one another warm. Besides, I was here a sort of hero. I had beguiled several of my associates into my own opinions, and I had to maintain a character before them. But I could not divest myself of my better principles. Parental influence cleaves to a man; it harasses him ; it throws itself continually in his way.
Í find in myself another evidence of the greatness of parental influence. I detect myself, to this day, in laying down maxims in my family which I took up at three or four years of age, before I could possibly know the reason of the thing.
It is of incalculable importance to obtain a hold on the conscience. Children have a conscience; and it is not seared, though it is evil. Bringing the eternal world into view; planning and acting with that world before us; this gains at length such a hold on them, that, with all the infidel poison which they may afterwards imbibe, there are few children who at night in their chamber,— in the dark,-in a storm of thunder, will not feel. They cannot cheat like other men. They recollect that eternity which stands in their way. It goads them; it thunders in their ears. After all, they are obliged to compound the matter with conscience, if they cannot be prevailed on to return to God without delay :-" I must be religious one time or other, that is clear; I cannot get rid of this thing. Well! I will begin at such a time; I will finish such a scheme, and then!"
The opinions, the spirit, the conversation, the manners of the parent, influence the child. Whatever sort of man he is, such, in a great degree, will be the child, unless constitution or accident give him another turn. If the parent is a fantastic man, if he be a genealogist, knows nothing but who married such an one, and who married such an one; if he is a sensualist, a low wretch,
-his children will usually catch these tastes. If he is a literary man, his very girls will talk learnedly. If he is a griping, hard, miserly man, such will be his children. This I speak of as generally the case. It may appear that the parent's disposition may have no ground to work on in that of the child. It may happen that the child may be driven into disgust: the miser, for instance, often implants disgust, and his son becomes a spendthrift.
After all, in some cases, perhaps, every thing seems to have been done and exhibited by the pious parent in vain. Yet he cast his bread upon the waters. And, perhaps, after he has been in his grave twenty years, his son remembers what his father told him.
Besides, parental influence must be great, because
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God has said that it shall be so. The parent is not to stand reasoning and calculating. God has said that his character shall have influence. And this appointment of Providence' becomes often the punishment of a wicked man. Such a man is a complete selfist. I am weary of hearing such men talk about their “family;" and their 6 family," " they must provide for their family.” Their family has no place in their real regard; they push for themselves. But God says, “No; you think your chil. dren shall be so and so; but they shall be rods for your own backs. They shall be your curse; they shall rise up against you.” The most common of all human complaints is, parents groaning under the vice of their children. This is all the effect of parental influence. In the exercise of this influence there are two leading dangers to be avoided. Excess of severity is one danger. My mother, on the contrary, would talk to me, and weep as she talked. I rushed out of the house with an oath, but wept too when I got into the street. Sympathy is the powerful engine of a mother. I was desperate. I would go on board a privateer. But there are soft moments to such desperadoes. God does not at once abandon them to themselves. There are times when the man says, “ I should be glad to return; but I should not like to meet that face!” if he has been treated with severity. Yet excess of laxity is another danger. The case of Eli affords a serious warning on this subject. Instead of this mild expostulation on the flagrant wickedness of his sons :"Nay, my sons, it is not good report that I hear;" he ought to have exercised his authority as a parent and magistrate in punishing and restraining their crimes.
Rev. R. CECIL.
THE CHRISTIAN'S ARMOUR.
EPH. v. 13-18.
HARK! what is that? methinks I hear
And banners bright,
His foes to fight.
In armour clad He sends them forth,
To gain their land.
By perjured men.
Nor fear they then.
From ev'ry snare.
They need not care.
Which may we prize!
Whene'er it rise.
And praise Thee still.
But seek Thy will. urton, January 2, 1847.
INSTINCT IN ANIMALS. “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord.”—Jer. viii. 7. AMONG the inquiries respecting natural history the instincts of animals have not perhaps had their full share of attention; many facts are obvious on the subject, and others have appeared in print, or are related in conversation, sometimes they are believed, but oftener heard with incredulity. Among the books relating to instinct, Smellie, in his “Philosophy of Natural History," vol. i. p. 239, &c., has a long chapter of facts of this kind. In speaking of faint approaches to reason in animals, he
Matt. xvi. 18. ? Art. XX. of the Church of England ; and 1 Tim. ii. 14, 15. Heb. xiji. 9.
has the following passage: “I had a cat that frequented a closet, the door of which was fastened by a common iron latch. A window was situated near the door. When the door was shut the cat gave herself no uneasiness. As soon as she tired of her confinement she mounted on the sill of the window, and with her paw dexterously lifted the latch and came out. This practice she continued for years.” I well remember an instance parallel to this at Haigh Hall, the seat of Earl Balcarres, near Wigan. A large dog, which the late lord had brought from Jamaica, having observed that ringing the bell brought the servant, sprang at the bell rope, and posted himself at the drawing-room door, and as soon as the call was answered walked quietly out. Every body is acquainted with the instincts of carrier pigeons; and with the return of animals in spring after winter in warmer climates. There is an Italian story, not improbable, of a gentleman who tied under the wing of a bird of passage a paper inscribed : “ Tell me where thou passest the winter;" and on the return of that bird in the following spring bearing the characters: “At Damascus, in the house of the governor.” We also know from the days of Jeremiah how the stork knoweth her time of returning; and it is even an indisputable fact that in Holland, when these animals return, each singles out the house of its former sojourning ; but philosophy has in vain attempted to assign a satisfactory reason for these facts, and many others. In this last class I am about to produce an instance of extraordinary instinct on the part of a pigeon. The story may not be credited, but it is nevertheless true. A present of six pairs of pigeons was sent by some of my family to a relation of theirs settled at Northampton. They were all shut up in a hamper, which was dispatched on the 1st of November, 1842. Some of them disappeared and were lost in a few days after their arrival, and of these we heard no more for three months, when at last, on the 31st of January, one of them found his way back, and was immediately recognized by every member of the family as the Capuchin, the name which they had given him. The peculiar marks in his body, viz: a circular ring of white at the neck, and a single